Short Reads

No exemption to the prohibition of market manipulation

No exemption to the prohibition of market manipulation

No exemption to the prohibition of market manipulation

06.04.2017 NL law

Market abuse cases are relatively rare in the Netherlands. Recently, the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven) confirmed that the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the "AFM") rightfully concluded that a trader manipulated the market by securing the price of financial instruments to an abnormal or artificial level.

The judgment of the Tribunal of 22 February 2017 can be found here (in Dutch only).

Background

A trader participated in 44 auctions to buy shares of small cap fund New Sources Energy N.V. (ticker: NSE, "NSE"). The auction took place twice a day. Rule in the auction was that the auction price would be the price for which the highest number of shares could be traded. The trader entered his bid in the auction seconds before the close of the auction for a high price. In 37 of the 44 auctions, for the trader succeeded in increasing the price by an average of 9.9%. Interestingly, the investors account of the trader was linked to the share price of NSE. The higher the share price on a day, the higher the credit would be that the trader could use with its bank.

The AFM imposed a fine of €100,000 on the trader for violating the prohibition on market manipulation. The District Court of Rotterdam upheld the decision of the AFM.

The Tribunal judgment

The Tribunal also upheld the decision of the AFM that it was the intention of the trader to manipulate the share price, since a higher share price would lead to the availability of a higher credit amount with the trader's bank. The fact that the trader did not otherwise profit from his actions, is irrelevant. The trader could not sufficiently prove that his actions were legitimate and in accordance with the use of accepted market practices.

The judgment illustrates that there is a higher risk for traders who cannot provide a convincing explanation of their behavior that meets the open norms of manipulative behavior. This is even more the case if this trader profits from his behavior. The judgment also shows that, although not statutory required, the intent of a person can be relevant to assess whether a trader manipulated the market and that relying on exemptions is difficult.

Team

Related news

09.05.2018 EU law
Proposed EU Directive to help companies move across borders

Short Reads - On 25 April 2018 the European Commission proposed a new directive, amending the EU Directive 2017/1132 on company law. The proposed rules should support companies in moving from one EU country to another, i.e. cross-border mergers, divisions or conversions. However, the proposed rules for cross-border divisions and conversions will also require companies to get prior consent from a competent national authority before moving. Who will act as such authority is not clear yet.

Read more

25.04.2018 EU law
25 April 2018: Stibbe sponsors LPEA Insights conference in Luxembourg on 'Building the Real Economy'

Conference - LPEA, Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, organises a conference in Luxembourg, which brings on stage General Partners (GPs) and Limited Partners (LPs) to discuss and showcase the private equity sector from the perspective of local practitioners, together with additional contributions from guest speakers specially invited to the event. Stibbe Luxembourg is a proud sponsor of this event, which some of our lawyers will attend.  

Read more

11.04.2018 NL law
Court of Appeal: Deed of pledge does not cover all present receivables

Short Reads - 's-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal denies pledgee's claim that all present and future receivables of the pledgor were pledged to it by a deed of pledge dated 20 January 2014 and ruled that the receivables listed in the schedule attached to the deed of pledge were leading to establish on which receivables a right of pledge was created.

Read more

Our website uses cookies: third party analytics cookies to best adapt our website to your needs & cookies to enable social media functionalities. For more information on the use of cookies, please check our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Please note that you can change your cookie opt-ins at any time via your browser settings.

Privacy – en cookieverklaring